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James Holmes 15, Aurora 14, Holmes 13, San Diego 12, Us 11, Jessica 8, U.s. 4, Florida 4, Mrs. Holmes 3, Jeremy Jololla 3, Myers 3, Washington 3, Msnbc 3, Unitedhealthcare Insurance Company 2, Mr. Holmes 2, Mike Lavendar 2, Nbc 2, Tanner 2, Obama 2, Riverside 2,
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  MSNBC    MSNBC Live    News/Business. Live news coverage, breaking news  
   and current news events with host Thomas Roberts. New.  

    July 20, 2012
    8:00 - 9:00am PDT  

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i'm thomas roberts. we continue on this exclusive breaking news story, a mass shooting in aurora, colorado during the midnight showing of the new batman movie. >> he got shot? >> there's blood right there. >> we got another person outside shot in the leg, a female. i've got people running out of the theater that are shot. >> we saw gas and sparks and sounded like really strong fireworks, and you could hear people yelling. >> he was completely dressed in black head to toe. from what we saw, he seemed like he had something over his face. >> we were here immediately, and thank fortunatefully we apprehe suspect. >> it was so scary. >> as we were leaving, he witnessed a baby, an infant, get shot. i heard the call come in at the nurse's station. from what i could see, there were people unconscious, people bleeding. >> is there one image that's going to stick with you?
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>> it was a packed house in that movie theater, 50 victims, 12 of which have died, 38 others being treated. we want to go now to reporter jere jeremy hola. the shooting suspect has been confirmed as 24-year-old james holmes, but we now understand police and investigators on the scene of his apartment has figured out it's booby trapped. can you confirm that? >> this guy was methodical in his planning. about ten minutes ago, chief dan oates of the aurora police department said, quote, booby trapped. the third floor of this apartment unit is where this suspect lived, and on the third floor, they cannot enter that apartment because it is booby trapped. the chief said that it looks pretty sophisticated. that's his quote. the briefing was very quick, they would not answer any questions. there are fire trucks here surrounding this very
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generic-looking apartment complex. it's a very generic, unassuming apartment complex, but the police department dealing with an extraordinary circumstance now, a booby-trapped apartment. they won't say how it's booby trapped, but fire trucks are here with their ladders extended to the building, just in case they have to detonate things inside that apartment. >> we were watching that this morning. you mentioned the hook and ladder truck that has the bucket on the end where at least three people from the fire staff, the investigators, were pulling the window out itself, pulling out the framing of the windows to get a better look inside that apartment. as you say, they've talked about it being booby trapped, but they were originally tipped off by the shooting suspect, correct? >> yeah, we were told by police that the suspect, when he was arrested, he told police that he may have been manufacturing or had explosives in his unit. when i got here to this scene, i spoke to several people who were evacuated very quickly out of
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their apartment unit. they said police told them, you better get out, there are possibly explosives inside this unit. so police, what they told us during this, they made the effort to take pictures inside that unit, and so you can bet they're taking those photographs and they're dissecting every angle of those photographs. they'll approach this very delicately, because who knows what this guy did in there. they're saying this thing is booby trapped. >> again, this is the apartment of 24-year-old james holmes who has been identified as the shooting suspect at the movie massacre there in aurora, colorado. jeremy, confirm for us, too, the car, the vehicle that was parked behind the movie theater that is holmes' vehicle. he also said there were explosives in that but police have not confirmed they found anything like that in the vehicle, right? >> from what we heard in the early hours of this incident, we heard that he told police that
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there were possibly explosives in his car, but when they apprehended him and they have seized his vehicle from what we understand, there were no explosives in his car. but i'll tell you, around this apartment complex, i have never seen so much yellow police christmas tape criss cro-crossi neighborhood like this. this is quite amazing. they are taking this very slowly, methodically, delicately. police are crawling all over this neighborhood. they're going to take their time with this. at the same time, you got to think about this. there's all these possible explosives inside this apartment unit. they don't want to destroy any evidence in that unit, either. >> jeremy, a lot of questions concerning this neighborhood. how far does the evacuation go? how many other apartment buildings and residents have been asked to evacuate, and have you had an opportunity to speak directly with anybody within holmes' apartment building that could give us better ideas of the type of 24-year-old, the type of mindset that this guy
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has? >> i spoke to about 10 to 15 people who were evacuated, you know, right when i got here. and i told them the name, james holmes. i asked, did you know this guy? did any of you know this guy named james holmes? they all shook their head. one woman, you know, they speculated among themselves saying there was this one white guy who would hang out by the apartments. he was very to himself, and he was just creepy. but that was their speculation. that's what they told me. i spoke to, you know, several people who were told immediately around 2:30, 3:00 to get out. a lot of these folks were in their pajamas. they had no idea what was going on at the theater. they were rushed out. one woman, you know, was obviously caught in the middle of a shower. half her head was wet. other people were wearing pajamas with their kid. a lot of them didn't have anyplace to go and some of them have been milling about just in
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awe of the chaos that's their neighborhood now. >> for viewers just joining us, we're watching the scene in aurora, colorado. this is the apartment building where the 24-year-old shooting suspect james holmes reside. he's the one that police have in custody from the shooting that happened at a premier midnight showingaurora, colorado of the batman movie. walking in with full gear on, his face covered, throwing a gas canister into the crowd and then opening fire. our thanks to kusa's jeremy jololla from his report from the scene. our chris van zandt, nbc analyst, joins me now to talk more about this. clint, as we're hearing the suspect in custody, holmes gave police the tip that there were explosives in his vehicle as well as the apartment potentially booby trapped. as you were watching this earlier, we were all, i think, a little taken aback at how vigorously they were going at
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the window frame to get at the windows to pull that out. but they didn't have any type of extensive gear on protecting their extremities. we know now that it is booby trapped, and jeremy reporting that it could be sophisticated. what does that say to you? >> well, unlike the movies, when we see places like this booby trapped to include drug labs or something else, we usually see if the main entrance, the front door that's booby trapped. that's why law enforcement, the bomb techs have multiple points of entry. they can go through the windows, they can come through either side of the apartment or they can come down from the apartment above or they could go up from the apartment below. so they're going to take their time right now. nothing is going to change unless they believe there is a time bomb inside. but if there is a booby trap, they can take all the time they need. we've got enough dead people and injured people right now. we don't want to see anybody else hurt, and that's why law enforcement is going to move as
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fast as they can for the safety of the public but as slow as they need to for the safety of themselves. >> one thing we confirmed with jeremy's reporting that holmes was the one that confirmed to police that his car mooi ight h explosives and the apartment itself might be booby trapped. how pressed is he to not give information to the police if he's trying to -- it could be a way to tell them about it. >> who knows what goes on in the mind of a mass murderer, something like this. he holds law enforcement to a higher standard. maybe this is someone who aspired to be a police or law
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enforcement person. he may be a murderer, but in his mind, hey, at least i didn't kill any police officers. so all of this is yet to be determined, but realize, you know, you and i are trying to think logically while this guy is thinking in a fantasy world or there's something else that motivated him that we still have to understand, but this is something we've talked about all morning on the "today" show and msnbc, the possibility of some secondary type of action. and i think that's what we're seeing right now. the question is, if that booby trap was set by him and if he didn't want police to be killed, who did he think was going to go in that room? >> clint van zandt, thank you for being with us. we'll probably get back with you during the hour as we learn more details again. police investigating from the exterior there of holmes' apartment. they have confirmed based on his tip that that apartment is booby trapped. this is the latest of what we
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know and the numbers are pretty fluid. again, 12 people confirmed dead, 38 wounded. 30 victims in all. several listed in critical condition at area hospitals. police have identified the shooting suspect as 24-year-old james holmes, and witnesses say he walked in through a theater exit shortly after the midnight premier of "the dark knight rises," set off tear gas and started firing at the crowd. officers have been investigating outside his home, saying the place is booby trapped. president obama addressed this tragedy just a short time ago in fort myers, florida, an event that he cut short in reference to the shooting. >> if there's anything to take away from this tragedy, it's the reminder that life is very fragile. our time here is limited and it is precious. and what matters at the end of the day is not the small things,
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it's not the trivial things which so often consume us and our daily lives. ultimately it's how we choose to treat one another and how we love one another. >> we are learning the identity of at least one of those believed to have been killed inside the movie theater. she was tweeting just minutes before this movie was scheduled to start. joining me now is mike lavendar, a friend of jessica's. we want to say first off, we're sorry for your loss. how did you know and learn that jessica was one of those lost and killed in the shooting? >> good morning. yeah, i woke up this morning around 5:00 a.m. and turned the tv on, and i turned it up because i saw the coverage, and i was watching the tv and i was thinking of a flashback to columbine. i was just like, oh, my god, not
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again, not another one. i did, i sat down, i picked up my laptop and got on facebook and posted on my timeline, on my wall, was a message from jessica's mom. and it said, mike, jessica was killed last night. call me. and i grabbed the phone. i called her, and it just -- it was just surreal. i mean, i didn't have a chance to process it, but when i talked to her mom, she just said, i was on the phone with jessica just before the movie started. i'm going to visit next week, i can't wait. she said, mom, i miss you, and after a while, she did get a call from who jessica was with and she said, sandy, i'm calling to tell you that, you know, there's been a shooting here at the theater and i'm hit, and before she could get it out, she said, where is jessica, what happened? she just said, i'm so sorry. and she hung up. and jessica was in toronto not
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that long ago, months ago, and was a witness to just a random shooting at a mall. and she wrote a blog about it just that she saw a shooting, and how it affected her life. and now she's a victim here months later, and it's crazy. i mean, i work in sports and i have for the last ten years or so, and jessica was in an internship in san antonio, worked for a local sports station. she made some connections in denver and she moved to denver to pursue her dream. in fact, one of the things she had been working on was with all the fires in colorado, she had asked everybody -- she donates sports equipment for people -- for people because she knows how sports brings such a joy, you know, to get you through things or just to get you through your day, or maybe you had a bad day and you turn on the tv to catch the game because, you know, it's
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going to be fun. and she moved to denver to chase a dream and to help other people, and she was just trying to watch a movie last night and this happened, and one of the things i think that is so bizarre about it all is she went to go see batman, the new batman movie, and if anybody saw the last batman movie with the joker played by heath ledger, bruce wayne is asking alfred, you know, why is it the joker does what he does and michael caine said in the movie, some men want nothing more than just to watch people burn. and this guy, we can speculate his motivation, but is there any connection there with the batman character and the villain in these kinds of movies, and i think he was somebody who wanted to see the world burn. it's horrible, it's sickening, and my condolences to the families and everybody affected by it. you know, we see these stories on the news, we see -- we watch
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and read the paper and the internet, but when somebody you know is involved, somebody -- whether it's a friend or a friend of a friend, when somebody you know is murdered, it hits you in a place that i wish on nobody. because it's just -- it's devastating. >> mike, we can hear it in your voice. we are so heartbroken for your devastating loss of your friend jessica, the vibrancy in which you reference her in her life and her kind-heartedness and her love of sports. it truly is really such a sad loss. as we were looking at her twitter feed, she was talking about being in the movie, that it was about to start in 20 minutes. she was ribbing some friends for not being there for the start of this opening night, that she was such a big fan of the series. mike, again, we're very sorry for your loss. mike lavendar, thanks for joining us this morning. >> thank you. >> we want to take you back to the scene and update you on what we are now learning again, back to the apartment of the shooting suspect, 24-year-old james
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holmes where police investigators on scene have confirmed that the apartment, the third floor apartment there that you see at the top of your screen, is booby trapped. they were tipped off to the trap that was set there by the shooting suspect himself, also referencing his car in the back of the movie theater, saying it had explosives in it, however, investigators have yet to find anything explosiveswise in that vehicle. however, they have confirmed, after looking and peeling the windows out, literally peeling the window frames out from a hook and ladder truck outside the exterior of his apartment, that it is booby trapped. they haven't said how so but have referenced that it is a sophisticated trap. one thing we are learning now from the ap is that the shooting suspect, holmes was a university of colorado medical school student saying that he was a student there, however, as a student, he withdrew last month, sometime in june. again, this is the a.p. saying that the university of colorado medical school says that the shooting suspect, 24-year-old james holmes, had been a student
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at their school but withdrew last month. again, you're looking at the exterior pictures of the aurora, colorado apartment about four miles away from the movie theater where the shooting massacre happened last night roughly around 12:30 a.m. at the midnight premier showing of batman where people on the scene say that the shooting suspect entered through the movie theater exit, released some type of tear gas canister, shot into the air -- fired one shot into the air and then opened fire on the crowd. obviously this was a packed house movie theater, there were multiple showings of the movie going on at the time. 16 different screens in all, i believe, showing in this movie house, sending people fleeing into the streets. we do have confirmation of 12 deaths. 38 other people have been injured. earlier this morning at 9:30 we had a medical update from the aurora south medical center. they said at that point that four patients had already been
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discharged, but they had, out of 15 patients that were brought to them, 15 patients, some of which were transported to them quickly because of police cruisers, the police who responded to the movie theater started loading people up and taking them to the nearest medical facilities as fast as they could. but the aurora south medical center saying that they received 15 people shortly after 1:00 a.m. no fatalities to report from that hospital, but 12 were gunshots. three other people they had there were smoke injuries. let's take a listen to the investigators from a press conference moments ago. >> the apartment is booby trapped. what we have is we have a whole bunch of bomb techs from all different agencies. we have pictures from inside the apartment. and we're trying to figure out how to disarm the flammable or
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explosive material that's in there. >> again, there are police on the scene confirming that the apartment of the 24-year-old shooting suspect james holmes is booby trapped. again, they got the tip from holmes himself that he had done something to his apartment. but there they're trying to figure out how to disarm this device. we have from the denver post now howard pancrest joining me on the telephone right now. howard, what more have you been able to learn about how police figured out and confirmed the place was booby trapped? >> they were looking at it from the hook and ladder truck. one thing that i want to share with you is some of the new information we have about holmes. he filled out an apartment rental application early last year. he described himself as a student, and he described himself as, quote, quiet and easy going. what we've learned is that holmes is from the san diego
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area, and he has also lived in riverside, california. we, of course, do not know what his motive was. i covered columbine, and i think what i am really struck by is the similarity in the preparation that harris and klebold made before they went into columbine and what mr. holmes allegedly did at the theater. harris and klebold was very methodical. it sounded like holmes was very methodical. >> you mentioned columbine from 1999, columbine not too far from aurora. as i understand it, geographically about 20 miles away. when you reference holmes, the a.p. is reporting that he had been a student at the university of colorado medical center but withdrew last month. easy going and quiet is how you
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say he describes himself on his rental application and you say he was living, born or raised in the san diego area and lived in riverside for some time. is there any background for the time he lived there. i only heard he got a speeding ticket. there really is no history with any type of scuffle with the law before. >> you know, we don't have that information yet. we, of course, are looking into it. but, you know, as some of your -- some of the people you've interviewed this morning have said, you don't know what goes through the minds of these people, what sets them off. we know that harris and klebold thought they were being bullied, they thought they were outsideroutside outsiders, and one thing that everybody will be looking at is what set this guy off. one thing here in the denver and colorado communities that we're
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going to be interested in is taking care -- >> howard, let me ask you to stand by because we want to go to san diego. kusd is outside the home of holmes' parents where they're giving a statement to the media. >> at this time i don't have any information. he did go to high school here locally in san diego. i don't know that. we're not releasing the name of the high school. >> have you determined when he was here at this class? >> i know he graduated from a local high school here, and i know he's been attending school in colorado. i don't have any further information about that. john, he hasn't finished yet. are authorities -- >> i'm sorry, you're ed. >> are authorities seeking a warrant to search this property? >> at this point there is nothing that links this home or the rest of the family to any other incident. >> may i ask what mrs. holmes has told you about her son? >> mrs. holmes has not told me
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anything about her son. i don't have any other statements about that. yes, sir. >> she indicated she was worried about it. >> did ycould you read the stat from the family for us? >> no, i will not read the statement. you have written copies of it. i will also be sending copies to the media distribution list. >> does the family have other siblings? >> we're not discussing that at this point. >> do you have any idea of the moefsh a motive and why he was in colorado? >> he was in colorado attending school, and the investigation is very early, and that is the purview of the agency in colorado. we have no comment on anything related to the incident in colorado. >> do you know how long he's been attending school in colorado? >> i do not. i have no information about the motive or the shooting or the investigation at this time. yes, pauline. >> do you know if colorado authorities will be coming here to talk to him? >> i have no information about that. it would make sense, but i have no information about that. >> it's the holmes family
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residence. i don't have any information about that. >> does the holmes family have any military in its background? >> i have no information about that. no information. >> are you here simply to help the family through this, et cetera, or is there any more to your official presence? >> actually, you all are the reason that i'm here. when a bunch of media showed up at a private residence, they actually called the police department because it was very disturbing to them, you know, the presence of all the cameras and the disturbance it caused to the neighborhood, so actually the police department is just here to preserve the peace and to make sure the privacy of the family is respected as well as the rest of the neighborhood. people still live here and there is still life going on in this neighborhood, and we have to make sure it's respected, and that's the only reason the san diego police department is here. >> did they call and ask for your assistance? >> yes, they did.
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[ inaudible ] . >> no information about that. that would have to come from colorado. >> how long will you be here? >> how long are you going to be here? i will probably be here for a while. >> i meant in terms of a police presence. >> the police will be here as long as we're needed to maintain the peace in the neighborhood. so far you all have been very respectful, staying on the public sidewalk. keep in mind people still live here and they need to walk up and down the street and drive up and down the street. so as long as their privacy is respected, then we won't have any reason to have to come on out. >> mr. holmes' first name? >> i don't know. [ inaudible ] >> i'm not going to be releasing that information. again, we're only here to preserve the peace.
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we're not here to conduct an investigation or to do anything else, just to preserve the peace. there are other investigative agencies that are here. >> did you say other family members have arrived or family friends? >> family friends. >> to your knowledge, no other family members are in the home other than the woman? >> there are other family members that reside here. they are still here, and the people that you see coming in have been friends of the family. >> there are other family members living in the home with mr. and mrs. holmes? >> do you have any communication with james? >> unfortunately, no. >> the media is who notified the family of the events. i don't know when the last time is they communicated. >> maybe somebody asked you, but
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are their investigators here? >> there are other investigative agencies that have come to get some background information from the family. >> can you be more specific? >> nope. anybody else have anything? yes. [ inaudible ] >> i can ask. i can ask. i don't know if we'll get that. if we do get a photograph, and i will also be e-mailing this written statement to our media distribution list, so if you haven't gotten a copy of it, you know, we'll be getting one sent out to you. i only made 20 copies. anybody else have anything real quick? okay. you guys have been really good about not bothering the family. we really appreciate that. we're just here to make sure that everybody's job gets done and privacy is respected. thank you. >> thank you. >> you bet. >> that was a lieutenant from the san diego police department
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addressing the media setup that has arrived outside of the holmes family residence in san diego, california. that was lieutenant andra crown with the san diego police department. these are images of the home of 24-year-old james holmes, the shooting suspect, his apartment in aurora, colorado. we were able to confirm that he grew up in southern california in the san diego area. according to the police department spokesperson there, the family has drafted a statement. she didn't read it on-site there, but as i think you heard her say, she's going to be e-mailing out that family statement to the media distribution list and we'll get that out to you as soon as we get it here on msnbc. one thing we have learned, though, is that james holmes did go to school within the san diego area. she would not say which high school, but she did confirm that nothing links the current family home there, the residents in san diego or any family members to what investigators are doing now in aurora, colorado with the
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i'm sure that many of you who are parents here had the same reaction that i did when i heard this news. my daughters go to the movies. what if malia and sasha had been at the theater, as so many of our kids do every day. michelle and i will be fortunate enough to hug our girls a little tighter tonight, and i'm sure you will do the same with your children. but for those parents who may not be so lucky, we have to embrace them and let them know we will be there for them as a nation. i'm so grateful that all of you are here. i am so moved by your support,
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but there are going to be other days for politics. this, i think, is a day for prayer and reflection. >> welcome back, everybody. we continue to follow the breaking news coming out of colorado today after 12 people have died, 38 other people wounded in an overnight shooting spree that happened at an aurora, colorado movie theatre. a 24-year-old suspect is in custody. his name is james holmes. police who have been at his apartment, they found out his apartment has been booby trapped. police are on the scene in san diego talking to his family. his mother has expressed concern for those who were lost. when contacted today by nbc news, she was unaware that the shooting had taken place, but said you have the right person. i need to call police. i need to fly out to colorado. there are camera crews on the scene there of the holmes fam y
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family. we heard from lieutenant andra brown in san diego just moments ago that that family is not considered any part of the aurora, colorado investigation, however, those family members could certainly give a lot of insight to the mindset of the suspect, james holmes. authorities were tipped off by holmes himself that his apartment is booby trapped. they used this hook and ladder bucket to literally pull the window frames out to look inside. they said there is some sophisticated booby trap inside the apartment himself. we want to go to jeremy jololla who joins me on the phone. jeremy, what more have you learned since last time we talked about how police want to move forward since they have the confirmation that this apartment is booby trapped? >> at this point there is not much as far as movement, as far
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as activity. there is a lot of standing around by police officers from where i'm -- in my vehicle. i'm looking towards the apartment. i'm about two or three hundred yards away from the suspect's apartment. it's wrapped up with crime tape. there are paramedics' vehicles here. there is a fire truck here. and at this point, i believe, you know, the police department, as we reported, said they took pictures inside this apartment, they took several pictures, and they found that it was, quote, booby trapped and that it looked quite sophisticated. so i am speculating at this point that they're probably looking at those photographs, seeing how they're going to enter the apartment, if they're going to enter the apartment, and we're told that the fire trucks are here just in case if they have to detonate anything, they have their water hoses ready just in case they need to extinguish anything. >> it's after 9:30 on a friday morning in this area. as i understand it, correct me
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if i'm wrong, you're roughly about four miles away from the movie theater itself. when we talk about how confident police feel about the evacuation, the perimeter that they've been able to establish, from your vantage point, how confident are they that they've been able to secure other people to get them away from this apartment? >> well, when i got here, i got here, i'm thinking, maybe 10 or 15 minutes after the initial evacuation. i talked to a lot of people who were in their pajamas, halfway wet, very confused about what was going on. at that point -- >> jeremy, let me ask you to hold on and stand by. we have a press conference now from outside the aurora medical center to get an update on patients. >> physician support, specialty physician support. it has just been awesome. obviously our priority right now is taking care of our patients and our families. social workers have been brought in to help with that.
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we have pastoral care here, we have licensed clinicians here to help. i want to point out, it's a level 2 trauma center. this is stuff we train for all the time. we hate that we had to do this. it's a tragedy for our community, but you need to know that it was a calm, organized group effort, and these people got amazing care, and i'm very proud to say i work here at medical center of aurora. any other questions? l-a-u-z-o-n. >> what's your first name? >> tracey, t-r-a-c-e-y. and i'm the director of legal services. i can tell you when the first trauma surgeon responded this
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morning to the first case, obvious she will wasn't aware of anything else that was going on when she heard more about what was going on, she said it was just automatic. er staff called -- she didn't have to say anything. they basically called everybody that they needed to help with as far as getting the patients the care they were going to need. she said it went very smoothly. it was not chaotic at all. it was just well organized and awesome. >> did you have to call extra people in right away? >> yeah, we did. as soon as we heard there was, you know -- don't quote me on this, but once we knew there was going to be more than one victim coming, we just went ahead and called in our -- we have backup surgeons for trauma, for anesthesia, neurosurgeons were here, orthopedic surgeons were here. i mean, it was just awesome. >> we've been lirchi inlistenin director of ems trauma services
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for the medical center of aurora who was fielding patients around 1:00 a.m. who were brought in by ambulance, some by police cruiser. we didn't get medical conditions of patients. we heard around 9:30 this morning that they did have an update of 15 patients that were taken to south medical center. they were treating 12 different gunshot patients there and three different smoke injuries from the gas canister that was released by the shooting suspect, 24-year-old james holmes. we want to go back to kusa investigative reporter jeremy jololla who was on the scene there outside james holmes' apartment. jeremy, forgive me for jumping in there. i just wanted to see if they were going to give us any patient information. as we were talking about the evacuation that was taking place outside the apartment building there and how confident police feel they've gotten everyone safely out. >> yeah, they have the neighborhood pretty much
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criss-crossed with yellow crime tape, and they've been pretty cautious with us, the media. we try to get as close as possible to get a good perspective of what's going on. we've been told to move from sidewalk to sidewalk. at the same time, there are a lot of, you know, people from the surrounding neighborhood here are coming up to the crime tape and just in awe of what's going on in their neighborhood. there is a significant number of emergency vehicles here, lots of flashing lights, lots of police vehicles. again, of course, telling you they have the fire trucks with their ladders extended and hoses ready in case they have to detonate anything inside that booby-trapped apartment. >> no word yet on the type of personality holmes was. we got confirmation he did grow up in san diego. police locally there are with the family now, coordinating with the investigation that's taking place there in colorado to lend any insights into what type of person the shooting
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suspect is, but neighbors don't have much of a vibe or read on this guy, correct? >> no, no. right around the time i got here, soon after this place was evacuated, i caugtalked to at l 10 to 15 people. i mentioned the name james holmes to them. i asked, did you know this guy? did you hear about this guy involved in this incident? they didn't know who he was. there was speculation it was some weird, creepy guy they saw hanging around the apartment, but that was just their speculation. as far as this guy being well known in this neighborhood? you know, there is lots of apartments here. i mean, who knows what kind of interactions he had here with folks. but as far as the people i've been talking to, there's more people showing up, it appears, as the day goes on. as far as the people i've been talking to, nobody knows this guy here, at least, not yet. >> jeremy jolola with kusa. we're going to ask you to stand by. tanner kuhn was a witness inside
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to the shooting itself when the suspect, 24-year-old james holmes, shot and fired. tanner, thank you for joining us. explain what happened when you were inside this movie theater, what you thought was happening when the gunman entered. >> well, i didn't necessarily see him come in through the door. i was in the fourth row from the top. but the first thing i did notice was the canister that was thrown and trailed some smoke, and i thought it was some kind of smoke bomb, something brought just to be funny, fireworks, and then the first shot went off and i thought it was a firework. and i thought somebody was trying to be funny. it's a midnight premier. people do stuff like that. but then after the next few shots, i realized this was real gunfire, this was real. i told my friends, we have to get down. so we got on the floor in front of our chairs and we just hunkered down there for a while, you know, 20, 30 shots went off, and i looked up for a second,
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caught a glimpse of him and he starts shooting again. it's just sporadic shooting, shooting wherever he could. it was just horrific. so after he was done shooting, you know, and another time he was done shooting, i saw some people start running up the stairs, and no more shooting, so i told my friends, we got to go, we got to get out of here. and so most of the people were in the top two rows, so i decided to make my way through the third row, and right above where i was sitting, there was a lady on the ground -- well, i slipped in blood and fell on top of this lady. i shook her and i told her, we got to go. you got to get out of here, and there was no response. she did not answer me. i presumed she was dead. before i got into the third row, i noticed a man sitting on his chair while everyone else was running and he was kind of slumped over. so i presumed he was dead as well. i made my way to the exit, waited for my friend, saw a guy who had been shot in the shoulder or neck, i couldn't tell.
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he w he was pressing the crease of his neck and shoulder and there was blood everywhere. it was truly horrific. >> for people who are trying to visualize the inside of this movie theater itself, you said you were the fourth row from the top. is this a stadium type of movie theater so you were to the top near the back exits as opposed to the side exits, correct? >> it's very auditorium, and it's one of their larger -- it's their largest theater that they have at this century 16, and they have the exit in the back and two exits in the front and the two side hallways. there is quite a few chairs. there were tons of people. this place was packed. the guy was relentless. he just shot and we were all just sitting ducks. >> and tanner, you were able to get out with all the people you arrived with, correct? the young friends you were there with, they're doing okay? >> yeah. yeah, they're doing fine. we all got out uninjured. the young one, he's 12 years
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old, he was very distraught, freaking out during the shooting. i was trying to calm him down, telling him everything was going to be all right. i was trying to tell myself the same thing, trying to believe that. it was really hard. and we end up taking him home because he needed to be with his family. he was really distraught. >> i'm sure. we appreciate you taking time to join us. we're going to let you go, but thank you for taking time to share your story. tanner coon there in aurora, colorado. we'll be back with much more on the breaking news right after this. [ barking ] i'm your dog, holding down the fort while you're out catching a movie. [ growls ] lucky for me, your friends showed up with this awesome bone. hey! you guys are great. and if you got your home insurance where you got your cut rate car insurance, it might not replace all this. [ electricity crackling ] [ gasping ] so get allstate. you could save money and be better protected from mayhem like me.
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constipated? phillips' caplets use magnesium, an ingredient that works more naturally with your colon than stimulant laxatives, for effective relief of constipation without cramps. thanks. good morning, students. today we're gonna continue... welcome back to our breaking news coverage of the shooting that took place overnight in a roar -- aurora, colorado. let's look at the information that's coming through. what happened? roughly last night at the premier opening of the new batman movie, a gunman opened on
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a crowded theater at that theater right there, the century 16, and of all victims, 15 people have died, 38 wounded, taken to local hospitals around aurora, colorado. the shooting suspect, james holmes, taken into custody on-site behind that movie theater at his vehicle. he was fully dressed in swat clothing with a bullet-proof vest on and a mask. he threw a gas canister, fired one shot into the air and then started shooting at the crowd at random. what we've learned though today, as police investigators have arrived on the scene of his apartment building there four miles away from the movie theater, his third-story apartment, on a tip from the shooting suspect himself, has confirmed to be booby trapped. investigators used a hook and ladder truck with a bucket on the end to pull the window framing out to get a better look inside that apartment building and have confirmed there is some
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type of sophisticated booby trap. our reporters working at kusa, our affiliate there in denver, colorado, have confirmed that those living in and around that apartment complex have been ushered away for their own safety as they come up with a plan to try to deactivate whatever type of traveling with the president. he's in ft. myers, florida, today where he was to hold a rally. in light of this, only came out briefly to speak to the crowd there and as i understand it, he's already on his way back to washington. >> reporter: that's right. he is heading back to the white house as we speak, thomas. both president obama and presidential candidate mitt romney are putting politics on the back burner today to address the tragic events that have unfolded in aurora, colorado. both campaigns, in fact, have pulled their tv ads from colorado, certainly a moment of national mourning. president obama addressed what happened here in ft. myers, florida. this was supposed to be a campaign event, thomas, as you
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mentioned. instead, it turned into the president speaking for just about ten minutes, extending his condolences, the condolences of the entire nation, to those who are suffering right now in aurora, colorado. here's a little bit more of what the president had to say. take a listen. >> i was looking forward to having a fun conversation with you about some really important matters that we face as a country, and the differences between myself and my opponent in this election, but this morning, we woke up to news of a tragedy that reminds us of all the ways that we are united as one american family. >> now, president obama canceling the rest of his campaign events today again so that he can head back to the white house to monitor this situation. mitt romney expected to address
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the tragedy within the next hour. he and ann romney have put out a statement extending their condolences. again, thomas, politics really has been put on the back burner on this day, which has turned into a day of national mourning. >> kristen welker reporting from ft. myers, florida, traveling with the president. thanks so much. we are learning that the u.s. military has confirmed that there was some of our military members in that movie theater. we will check in to confirm this after a quick break. we know a place where tossing and turning have given way to sleeping. where sleepless nights yield to restful sleep. and lunesta can help you get there, like it has for so many people before. when taking lunesta, don't drive or operate machinery until you feel fully awake. walking, eating, driving, or engaging in other activities
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i honestly didn't know what to think. i instinctively jumped forward and ducked inside, you know, the middle of the aisle and just touching a corner, and after that, he was shooting people behind me and i had like gun shells just, you know, falling on my head, burning my forehead. all i smelled was powder and it
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was just really terrifying. i was telling my friends, i was like stay still, just stay still until he walks up the stairs because then we're going to crawl and get out of here. >> amazing eyewitness account from jennifer seger, one of the witnesses from today's shooting, the overnight shooting in colorado. we are getting word that among the 12 confirmed dead are three u.s. military members that were hurt in this shooting. nbc's jim miklaszewski joins me with more information. what more do we know? >> reporter: a quick correction. the three service members have not been killed, they are wounded. aurora, colorado is home to buckley air force base and defense officials tell us that two air force reservists and one u.s. navy service member were wounded in that shooting spree. the extent of their injuries and their identities are not known. but u.s. military and defense officials emphasize that as of now, there is no indication that any active duty u.s. service members were actually killed in that incident. >> okay. good to know.
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we're sorry about the confusion there. you say they were wounded. we do have the confirmation that we have lost 12 lives there in aurora, 38 other people were wounded. these three military members are among those that are wounded. we will continue to follow this for you all day right here on msnbc. that's going to wrap things up for me this hour. alex wagner will continue our coverage after this quick break. . hey eddie. i brought your stuff. you don't have to do this. yes i do. i want you to keep this. it'd be weird. take care. you too. [ sighs ] so how did it go? he's upset. [ male announcer ] spend less time at gas stations. with best in class fuel economy. it's our most innovative altima ever. ♪ that's a good thing, but it doesn't cover everything. only about 80% of ur part b medical expenses.
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